People should not be expecting a Chattanooga-type of sporting event. This will be more of an NFL- or major-college-type of event.
If you go
* What: U.S. Women’s National Team vs. Costa Rica
* Where: Today, 6:30 p.m.
* Where: Finley Stadium
* TV: ESPN2
* The expanded list of banned items that will not be allowed in Finley tonight can be found at www.finleystadium.com.
* Some CARTA shuttles will be running to Finley from downtown stops near the Tennessee Aquarium and 11th Street to help parking. The shuttles will start at 2:30 p.m. and will run until 11 p.m.
* Victory tour means winning for U.S. World Cup champs
* Wiedmer: World Cup champs know how to inspire their fans
* AstroTurf president in town to see Finley field, watch women's soccer
* Road closures planned for U.S. Women's match against Costa Rica
The women's World Cup trophy has been a star attraction in Chattanooga this week, being on display at Miller Plaza and Hamilton Place as soccer fans wait in line to get a glimpse or a picture with it.
Tonight, the United States Women's National Team, the World Cup champions who earned that trophy earlier this summer, will take center stage at Finley Stadium.
Paul Smith, the executive director of Finley, said he expects a crowd of close to 21,000 tonight as the U.S. faces Costa Rica in an exhibition game.
There will be plenty of patriotism, passion and people there.
The energy started Tuesday night as an estimated 2,000 fans attended the U.S. team's practice at Finley, prompting U.S. Women's player Amy Rodriguez to say gladly, "I can't focus, they are too loud," about the cheering section.
But those lucky enough to have tickets — the event sold out online in less than a day — will need to bring a plan and some patience to the match.
"People should not be expecting a Chattanooga-type of sporting event," Smith said. "This will be more of an NFL- or major-college-type of event."
With that environment comes a fan experience on Reggie White Boulevard between the stadium and the pavilion that will include a beer garden from Budweiser, displays from Chevy and other U.S. Soccer national sponsors and venues to get official U.S. Soccer memorabilia.
That also means the crowds will be much larger, parking will be at a premium — spaces in the Finley lots will be $20 per car and $100 for RVs with only cash being accepted — and longer-than-usual lines for everything, including entrances to restrooms and concessions.
"Instead of an umbrella, grab a poncho," Smith said of his best advice. "We have every asset we have in place to keep lines getting in and for concessions as small as possible. So I'd tell people, 'Have a little patience getting in, leave your bag in the car and have fun seeing a world champion.'"
There also will be a stricter policy in place about what is allowed in Finley tonight.
Among the items that will not be allowed are umbrellas, backpacks, diaper bags, professional camera equipment and soccer balls.
Smith said the stricter guidelines are the result of a cooperative effort among U.S. Soccer, and local and federal authorities to make the experience as safe as possible for everyone.
Staff writer Gene Henley contributed to this story.
Contact Jay Greeson at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter at @jgreesontfp.
* The U.S. has not lost since a 2-0 defeat against France on Feb. 8. That’s 17 consecutive matches without a loss.
* The U.S. has not lost on American soil since 2004, a steak of 97 matches (85-0-12) without a defeat.
* This is the second trip to Chattanooga for the U.S. Women’s team, which beat Sweden 2-0 at Finley in 1997.
* The entire roster that won the World Cup on July 5 over China is scheduled to be in town for tonight’s match.
* The U.S. has an average margin of victory of 2.33-0.39 in its 18 matches so far in 2015.